Right Now in Stuff You Should Know

Ladies and gents, below you'll find a player for the the SYSK live Webcast airing today. We'll do two shows - 30 minutes each beginning at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. eastern time. So if you're reading this post and you don't see us, that means it's not 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. eastern time. We're working on recording and posting these shows, but not just yet so hang in there. Tune in and leave you comments right here and we'll read them live on the air.

OK folks, so we're giving this live webcast thing another go. For those of you who tuned in last week, you know that we were met with myriad technical issues and it didn't exactly go down like we wanted. But the show must go on, as they say and we're ready for take two. I should also mention that we have a killer video department here at HowStuffWorks.com and they weren't responsible for last week's foibles. Sometimes computers can just be stubborn and uncooperative. SO - tune in here tomorrow, that's Wednesday, at 10 am and 1 pm eastern time. That's 7 am and 10 am for you West coasters and who knows what time for the rest of the world. I'll have a new post up tomorrow morning with the video link ready to go. As always, thanks for hanging in there, SYSK Nation. Hopefully you can all appreciate this new endeavor as it evolves into something truly awesome and mind meltingly cool.

This is pretty dang cool. "Coasteering" is the latest wacko activity that adrenaline junkies have dreamed up. It originated in Wales and as one coasteer (?) puts it, "it's everything your mother told you not to do by the seaside." Basically, you strap on a helmet and wet suit and work your way down the rocky coastline, however you can. You shimmy around on slick rocks and when it gets too steep or too high, you jump in the water. You get tossed around in tidal pools like you're laundry and dart in and out of caves like a sea turtle. I'm not Mr. Extreme or anything, but I enjoy a good romp now and then and I love the spirit of these people and how they use the Earth as their own little playground. It reminds me that humans are kind of cool and creative.

The laziness of the Fourth Estate and me (or I? I don't feel like looking it up)

I'm back! How badly did you miss me? Probably not much since I wrote a couple posts that were meant to publish on Thursday and Friday like some kind of magic or hoodoo. My magical hoodoo failed, however, and dear Chuck Bryant was kind enough to go in and do it the old fashioned way on my behalf.

Humans aren't truly naked apes, but other primates put us to shame when it comes to body hair. Why? Tune in to hear Josh and Chuckle discuss the theories and hypotheses behind human hair growth and distribution.

A co-worker just sent me the most recent quality of life survey conducted by the consulting/staffing/HR giant Mercer. Looks like Europe is the place to be when it comes to living well in 2009, with Vienna booting Zurich from the top spot in the "overall living" category. I've been to Vienna and I've got to say, it was pretty dang nice - clean, friendly and easy to get around. I had a blast, but enough of that. Geneva came in third place with Vancouver and Auckland tied for fourth place. There was also a list for infrastructure only with the top five shaping up as follows: Singapore, Munich, Copenhagen, Tsukuba and Yokohama (both in Japan). London scored eighth on the infrastructure list (38th overall) and the city that rated lowest overall was... wait for it... Baghdad. Big shock on that one.

This week on Stuff You Should Know, Josh and I both taught you folks and learned a thing or two ourselves. I didn't know much about either one of these two topics before our research and one of them continued to stymie me until we recorded the show. We had a little fun with Tuesday's show on High Fructose Corn Syrup by "acting" for a change. We mimicked the awful and popular HFCS TV commercial and I think we can all agree that there won't be any Oscar awards coming our way anytime soon. The takeaway for this show was that HFCS isn't the worst thing on Earth, but Americans are consuming far too much of it because it's snuck into more products than you can shake a stick at. We got some KILLER listener mail about this episode, so listen up for it soon.

5 Emerging Green Technologies to Watch - #1: Water Desalination

Yes, yes. Water desalination is nothing new; GE's had viable systems to remove minerals and salts from brackish water since the 1950s. The tech is still an emerging one, though, since it's mostly been Africa that's needed it and the West has yet to figure out how to make any substantial amount of money off the continent.

R.I.P. Ernie Barnes - Thanks for the "Good Times"

Today's post is a little tribute to a man named Ernie Barnes. He was a professional football player and painter, two occupations that you wouldn't normally associate with each other. Barnes played for the Denver Broncos in 1964 and 1965, making only $13,500 per season playing guard.

5 Emerging Green Technologies to Watch - #2: Any Kind of Turbine

Our Dutch friends were onto something, not just with those wooden shoes (which, any serious clogger can tell you are the best), but with the whole windmill thing. Rather than milling grain, though, forward thinkers took the concept of using a rotating turbine to create electricity.

In theory, credit default swaps are simply insurance against failed investments. In reality, these swaps can quickly get complicated. Tune in to this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com to hear Josh and Chuck demystify credit default swaps.

5 Emerging Green Technologies to Watch - #3: Biohydrocarbons

There's this pesky problem we humans are facing called peak oil. The peak oil theory says that, since oil is a finite, nonrenewable resource (at least not renewable on any short enough timeline), and since we've learned to pull it from the Earth and burn it at an impressive rate, we're eventually going to run out.

So it's going down, folks. We're launching a new weekly video webcast version of Stuff You Should Know - but way better! Tune in tomorrow at 10 am est and again at 1 pm est for some pure, live SYSK goodness - we'll talk about newsy stuff like swine flu, tackle a bite-sized version of the SYSK podcast, and rock a cool segment about some of the great oddballs of world history. We're also going to have some LIVE VIEWER MAIL. And you can watch it all right here by clicking on the video below. We want to hear from the SYSK Nation in real time. So near the latter portion of our 30 minutes, we'll read some viewer mails live as they come in. Submit your questions and comments about what we're talking about - or about anything that strikes your fancy in the comments section below this very post. Give your first name and where you're watching from too if you would.

I suppose I'm posting this today just because it shocked me that this case is still slugging its way through the court system... Remember when Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed over Lockerbie, Scotland? If not, here's a quick recap - Way back in 1988 Libyan terrorists blew up a plane that left London bound for New York. All 259 people aboard the plane, as well as 11 people on the ground, died in the crash. In 2001, two men were prosecuted for the crime in the Netherlands. On man was acquitted, one was convicted. The appeal for the convicted man just cranked up yesterday in the high court in Edinburgh, more than 20 years after the incident.

5 Emerging Green Technologies to Watch - #4: Green Brownfield Remediation

Q: What's better than leaving an abandoned, heavily polluted former industrial site to rot and contaminate the surrounding environment? A: Not doing that. As humanity has bred like rabbits, coupled with staggering advances in extending life spans, we've started to really build up our population and since we're somewhat large animals, we require lots of space.

High fructose corn syrup gets a bad rap, but is it deserved? Tune in as Josh and Chuck discuss the origins of this ubiquitous sweetener -- and why it's not so sweet for your health -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

The word is officially out on the swine flu and the danger it could potentially cause the human race. Our science bloggers Robert and Allison have done a nice job covering the issue so far here and here so I won't cover those details here. However, I came across this article on Marketwatch today that was kind of interesting. Seems that the swine flu scare has caused oil prices to drop some and has actually boosted the American dollar a bit. The price of oil fell about five percent this morning, settling in at $48.77 per barrell. As concerns of a pandemic spread, risky assets like stocks tend to go down. It turns out that oil traders take the stock market performance as a cue for overall economy, which is why oil prices tend to rise and fall with what's happening on Wall St.

5 Emerging Green Technologies to Watch - #5: Carbon Capture and Storage

Quick, what's the biggest problem facing Earth's atmosphere today? Too late. The correct answer is increasing carbon dioxide levels. CO2 isn't the harshest greenhouse gas, but it's the one that is emitted the most and it's capable of causing quite a bit of damage.

Before we get going on "Podcast Goodness" today, let me be the first to announce an exciting new SYSK opportunity. Dr. Clark and I will be going live with a weekly webcast every Wednesday. We'll do two shows each week, one at 10 a.m. (est) and then in all likelihood, a much better 4 p.m. (est) show for our West coast friends. It's not just gonnabe a video version of our podcast either, we have big plans to introduce some brand new segments - including some interviews, a news segment and a live listener questions that we'll run through this blog. We'll be using ustream.com as our host and it all kicks of next Wednesday, April 29th. We'll post more details next week and we'd love it if you guys could tune in and support us!

So I'm definitely not the tech writer around here, which is why I'll write about the sociological implications of Twitter rather than any technology behind it. That and I'm afraid of Chris Pollette and Jonathan Strickland following me into the bathroom and locking the door behind them. For being so pasty, those two know how to wield bicycle chains and car radio antennae with surprising effectiveness. I do not, in fact, have a Twitter account. I'll probably be a member of the 26th wave (coming up two from now), but I am fascinated by the ideal Web 2.0 model our society's faithfully followed, as established by MySpace and perfected by Facebook, wherein a clever new social media technology is unrolled, early adopters figure out even cleverer novel uses for it, these new uses are picked up by the aged media, which disseminates news of the tech to everybody else who, in turn, take up use of the service, which leads to more media exposure, even further use and the final stage, complete and utter entrenchment in said society.